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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 May 2012

Greenwich libraries

Workers show fighting back can win

A library steward
Greenwich libraries strike against privatisation, 27.4.12, photo Paul Mattsson

Greenwich libraries strike against privatisation, 27.4.12, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The two days of strike action already taken by Unite members in Greenwich, south London, have sent a clear message to Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), that we will not accept attacks. GLL has now taken over the library service.

The most likely attack would have been an attempt to drop council library workers' pay and conditions to the level of staff employed at GLL. But, in response to the campaign, GLL has now offered to come to an agreement that will confirm they will not do this.

In GLL's original bid to win the contract they said they would "harmonise" pay and conditions. So an agreement to stop this would be a tremendous victory for Unite members.

Victory

The stewards have agreed to suspend further strike action while negotiations take place. This is the correct action as the employer is indicating that what they are likely to offer will be what the workers have been fighting for.

As part of the fight to defend the jobs, pay and working conditions of library workers we marched from Eltham library to Woolwich Library on 5 May. The route passed one of the Olympic venues on Woolwich Common.

The rather strange design of the buildings resembles the world occupied by the Teletubbies. It was therefore no surprise when we stopped outside the venue and started chanting "Save Tinky Winky!".

This was not appreciated by the police and security guards looking after the venue.

They rushed to form a rather thin line of defence, so we wasted no time in calling on the security guards to join a trade union.

What has not been lost on the library workers is that while the money can be found for the fun and games of the Olympics, Greenwich council insists it has to cut and privatise.

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In The Socialist 9 May 2012:


Socialist Party election analysis

Legitimacy of Cameron and Clegg further shattered

Election results: How did TUSC do?

Con-Dems battered in Scottish local elections

Labour's best Wales result in 21 years will not stop cuts

London elections - TUSC: A marker for future struggles

Coventry: Socialist campaigner Dave Nellist narrowly loses

4,792 mayoral vote for Liverpool 47 candidate

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition local election reports

Unison attacks TUSC candidate


International socialist news and analysis

France: A weekend that shocked Europe

Greece: Political earthquake sees pro-austerity parties' support collapse


Socialist Party news and analysis

Water waste of money!

MPs find Murdoch "not fit" to run media empire

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Good result for Socialist Students candidates in NUS elections

Health services at risk in Cardiff and Vale

Privatisation pushes up transport costs in Yorkshire

Care home closures in Sheffield

Police restrict anti-racist protesters in Luton


Socialist Party workplace news

Come to the NSSN conference!

Greenwich libraries - fighting back can win

Exposed: the dirty world of NHS privatisation

Duncan Smith throws insults at Remploy workers

Workplace news in brief


Reviews and comments

Film review: 'Cocaine Unwrapped'

Turning anger into action


 

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